As I stood at the white board looking into the eyes of each member of my team, I thought I knew exactly what each one was thinking, even before they spoke. This one was confused. I hadn't provided enough concrete data for him to decide what he thought about the idea I'd just presented. The one next to him was excited. He was already thinking about the possibilities this could open up for the future. The one across the table was doubtful, but wanted to be hopeful. The internal conflict showed in her face. Then the woman at the end of the table spoke. It was almost like she had positioned herself directly across from me knowing she was going to be against my idea. She had a history of poking holes in anything new.
She opened her mouth and started to speak, "Yes, but ..." she began. I groaned inside. "Yes, but ..." These had to be two of the more destructive words in the English language. How many ideas through the years had been skewered and left to die on conference room floors by a well-meaning, "Yes, but ..."?
Looking back on that experience, and many like it, I've begun to believe that deep in my heart is a conference room full of interesting characters debating the ideas that define me.
A preacher proclaims that God will never leave me nor forsake me. Right away the Eeyore character at the table begins, "Yes, but what if he does? You're no Joshua after all."
A friend reminds me that the Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. Immediately the Piglet character responds, "Yes, but we don't know how he will provide, or when. What will do? Whatever will we do? It looks like this is the end!"
I read that I have been adopted by the King of kings and Lord of lords. The Tigger character points out, "Yea, but ... you don't act like royalty."
Then I read that I have been joined to Christ for all eternity. The Pooh character chimes in, "Yes, but ... oh, bother. Everything is so muddled. You'll never understand this."
What I need is someone in the conference room of my heart that will stand up and say, "What if ...?" Maybe it's Owl or Christopher Robin who interjects, "What if it's true? What if God really will stick closer than a brother in every circumstance? What if the Lord will provide everything you need? What if you really are spiritual royalty, joined to Jesus, and blessed with every spiritual blessing? What could life be like if it were really true -- and you believed it?"
Maybe it's time to stop saying, "Yes, but ..." and start asking, "What if ...?"
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